Accountability

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Considering all that has been exposed so far, if company leaders are really committed to energy efficiency to bind resources as time, talent and money, derived results and compromise with them on a continuous and manageable mood seems fair. Assuming a fundamental principle that energy is a direct and controllable cost that can be monitored and controlled as any other production cost, implies that someone must control it, and be responsible and accountable for these results.

Accountability in energy efficiency has to comply with physical and managerial boundaries, like process units or group of process units for which energy monitoring is unique. Units that retain correlation between them concerning operation might also be an option for some accountability bundling. Managers of these units or units groups are the ones to be responsible and accountable for energy use. This means being accountable for putting forward that energy usage in their control area is within expected energy patterns, that operational crew is trained and actively engaged in the program, that the crew follows standards for each sensible operation, that energy efficiency projects and procedures are on track as expected and scheduled and so forth.

From production plans an energy consumption forecast can be derived and this can become the - energy budget- for each unit and period. Complying with this budget, like with the financial budget, can be an accountability index that can be easily divided between units and even pieces of equipment. Defining these levels of measurement and the implications for each organizational cell, function or person, it is possible to determine responsibility for each one, targets and capability limits. Supporting functions may also have their accountability measured. Maintenance can be evaluated over expected energy consumption due to standards for equipment efficiency before and after intervention and allowable energy losses related to stoppage time. Engineering function can be measured over accuracy and availability of data and information for optimal operation, installation of projects that allow energy savings etc.

Personnel directly linked to the program as the committee and the experts should be accountable for the feasibility and execution of plans, staff awareness level based on marketing and training, participation in work groups, task forces, projects, audits etc. In summary, they must be responsible for the implementation and success of the program and accountable for its effectiveness.

Management should be accountable for providing conditions to support all these actions, like maintaining and enforcing energy efficiency as a company value, standing for the engaged personnel, supplying money and actually placing energy usage as corporate goal. This apparently simple aspect might be the one isolated issue that may guarantee the actual permanence of the energy efficiency program.

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